Chad Colton

Chad Colton

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Chad Colton is a national trial lawyer who litigates high-stakes business and technology cases. He has handled dozens of trials across the country and is praised by his clients and peers as an outstanding courtroom advocate. Chambers USA describes him as “a go to attorney for bet-the-company commercial litigation,” a “great communicator and strategist,” and “incredibly bright.”

Chad’s work includes jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations in cases involving trade secrets, business torts, contracts, intellectual property, non-competition agreements, fiduciary duty, and elder financial abuse. He often represents plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving software, e-commerce, and other technological innovations. He previously served as the chair of the Oregon State Bar Technology Law Section and leads the firm’s Software and Technology Litigation Group. Chad also has extensive experience in shareholder and partnership disputes, particularly those involving closely-held and family-owned businesses.

Some of Chad’s representative cases include:

  • Opal Labs Inc. v. Sprinklr, Inc. (Oregon): Lead trial counsel for plaintiff Opal Labs in a lengthy federal jury trial concerning the theft of Opal’s software. Obtained favorable verdicts on Opal’s claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract.
  • Boy Scouts of America abuse litigation (Oregon and Guam): Lead defense counsel for BSA in over 175 cases in Oregon and Guam.
  • Hardy v. Hardy (Oregon): Lead trial counsel in multiple trials in a partnership dispute over control of the family company and the theft of company assets. Secured full control of the company and the return of assets.
  • Power Buying Dealers v. Boyd Coffee Co (California): Co-lead trial counsel for defendant Boyd Coffee in a federal jury trial in Los Angeles involving claims for breach of contract over a distribution agreement. Obtained full defense verdict.
  • Mark McKay Farms, Inc. v. McKay Farms, Inc. (Oregon): Represented the plaintiff in claims against partners and family members for embezzlement and for the breakup of a large, 150-year-old family farm. Obtained a multimillion-dollar judgment for damages and attorney fees, plus the return of stolen farm property.
  • Royal Merchant Holdings, Inc. v. Traeger Grills (Ohio): Represented Traeger Grills in Ohio contract and trade secret case involving electronic payment processing. Obtained full dismissal of all claims against Traeger through a series of motions.
  • Parks v. Progressive Direct Insurance Co. (Nevada): Defended Progressive in a class action involving medical payment coverage. Obtained summary judgment against all claims before class certification.
  • Harry & David Corp. v. IBM (Oregon): Represented Harry & David in claims involving IBM’s website and e-commerce software. The case resolved shortly after convincing a federal judge that Harry & David had a viable claim for fraud against IBM.

In addition to his active trial schedule, Chad serves in numerous community leadership roles. He is currently a member of the board of directors for The Classroom Law Project, which provides civics education and mock trial programs to students. Chad is fluent in Spanish and serves as the chair of the board for Quechua Benefit, a non-profit that runs a school and creates health initiatives for children in the Peruvian highlands. He also serves as a board member and the president of Up & Out, which provides housing and living services for adults with developmental disabilities.


  • Recognition, Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021; Up and Coming, 2017 –2019
  • Super Lawyer, Oregon Super Lawyers, 2020, 2021; Rising Star, 2009 – 2019
  • Board of Directors, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, 2021; Chair, Commercial Litigation Section, 2018 – present
  • Executive Committee, Oregon State Bar Corporate Counsel Section, 2021
  • Chair, Oregon State Bar Technology Law Section, 2014; Executive Committee, 2009 – 2018
  • Executive Committee, Oregon State Bar International Law Section, 2015 – present; Chair, 2017
  • Board of Directors, Classroom Law Project, 2019 – present
  • Board Chair, Quechua Benefit, 2018 – present; Board of Directors, 2015 – present
  • Board of Directors and President, Up & Out, Inc., 2008 – present
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Multi-law International Academy, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2010
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy, 2008
  • First Place, Lewis & Clark Law School Mock Trial Competition, 2004
  • Best Oral Advocate, Lewis & Clark Law School Appellate Moot Court Competition, 2003
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Lewis & Clark Law School — J.D. 2006, cum laude
  • Brigham Young University — B.A. 2003
Chad Colton on how to turn on a dime
Chad Colton

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